Feed regulation challenges in 2023 [Video]

AFIA's Leah Wilkinson discusses what feed manufacturers should expect from upcoming federal regulation

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Feed & Grain: Can you tell our watchers a little more about yourself and your role in the AFIA?

Leah Wilkinson: 00:00

Hi. I'm Leah Wilkinson, vice president of Public Policy and Education for the American Feed Industry Association. I oversee our legislative and regulatory affairs and our education program.

F&G: In an era of divided government, what can the feed industry expect to change with how the federal government regulates?

Wilkinson: 00:26

So as we all see in the press, things are a little bit different in Washington, DC, but I think you could probably safely say that has been the case for the last several years. So it doesn't really change what we do from the association perspective. We're there, we're bipartisan, we are advocating on behalf of the industry and those issues, really, we take them forward and work with both Republicans and Democrats, no matter who's in power, whether it be at the White House or in Congress. So I wouldn't expect to see much change from what we do. But we do know that things, in order to get moving through Congress, are going to have to be bipartisan. And luckily, those are the types of issues that we're working on here in agriculture.

F&G: Are there any pieces of regulation that the industry should be paying attention to on the state or federal level?

Wilkinson: 01:14

So AFIA has been working on improving our ingredient review systems for the last several years. And we have a partnership in the United States with the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the Food and Drug Administration. And it's the Center for Veterinary Medicine within that FDA that does all the safety reviews. So we've been working hard to get them more resources. So we're going to continue to do that. But the other thing that AFIA has been working on with them is trying to expand and modernize their policy interpretations of how they regulate feed ingredients when we want to make label claims either on production, environment or food safety. So in the last two years, we asked them to fix that back in September of 2020. They've been working on that. They held a listening session last fall and heard from a wide variety of stakeholders across agriculture that this is an important issue to them, as well as to the feed industry. So we're really hopeful here in 2023 that they're going to be coming out with more public statements as to how they can do this and how we can bring forward some of these new technologies and really talk about what they do on the label. So keep an eye out for that. And that will be new and novel, and we'll get some modernized systems here in the United States.

F&G: What has been your favorite thing at this year's IPPE? Did you give any talks?

Wilkinson: 02:39

So this year at IPPE, I got to participate in the 16th annual International Feed Regulators Meeting, and that is how I kicked off my IPPE. We had over 100 delegates, with feed industry representatives and regulators. There were 17 different countries represented in those discussions, and the International Feed Industry Federation and the FAO hosts that meeting. So I gave a couple of talks there, and we had other AFIA staff participate. And it's just a great opportunity for us to talk about emerging challenges that we have in the feed industry and a chance for regulators and the industry to tackle those together. I really look forward and also the networking that we get to do.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA)'s Leah Wilkinson chatted with Feed & Grain about what federal regulations the feed industry should be looking out for in 2023.

The topics discussed include:

  • Working in the new era of divided government
  • Improving the U.S. ingredient review process
  • What happened at IPPE 2023